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Washington Voices

Randy Mann: Seattle illustrates weather extremes

Thu., Sept. 13, 2012

For the first time since at least 1891, the city of Seattle was bone-dry during the entire month of August. The previous record-low rainfall in Seattle during August was a three-way tie of .01 inches in the past 122 years, last occurring in 1951.

A rain shower Sunday night in Seattle dropped only .01 inches of moisture, but that ended a stretch of 48 consecutive days of dry weather. The record is 51 days, set during the summer of 1951. Before the recent light rain, the last measurable moisture at Sea-Tac airport was .04 inches on July 22.

It seems that our pattern of wide weather extremes continues as Seattle’s dry spell arrived directly on the heels of the wettest June on record in Seattle and parts of the Inland Northwest.

At Spokane International Airport, only trace amounts of precipitation were reported earlier this week. The last measurable rainfall was reported Aug. 13 with 0.13 inches of moisture. Before that date, the airport picked up .25 inches of rain on July 20.

Despite the recent dry spell across the Northwest, our region is still well above normal for annual precipitation. At the airport, 13.96 inches of rain and melted snow has been reported since Jan. 1. The normal to date is 10.3 inches. For an entire season, the average is 16.67 inches.

In Coeur d’Alene, a whopping 29.32 inches of moisture has fallen since Jan. 1. The normal for an entire season is 26.77.

There was a change in the weather pattern early this week as strong winds with a few scattered light showers moved across the region. Red flag warnings were posted by the National Weather Service due to the high winds. However, it appears that the high pressure system that has brought the Inland Northwest the sunny and warm days will rebuild across the West. This will mean that the drier than normal weather pattern will continue for at least the next 10 to 14 days, probably longer.

If you have any questions or comments, you can contact Randy Mann at wxmann, or go to www.longrangeweather. com for additional information.

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